I suggested to Auckland City deputy mayor Bruce Hucker today that what he proposed in a restructuring of council committees and a redirection of the council’s objectives was more like a 30-year task than one for 3 years.
He suggested, in response, that maybe it could be a 6-year job â€“ thus giving his team a rollover at the next elections â€“ but in fact the changes could be put in place quickly.
Housing was one example I had in mind: Among the objectives of the community development & equity committee will be to work to ensure low-cost rental housing for elderly people and increase the city’s stock of affordable housing, suggesting a straight turnaround from the council’s sale of pensioner housing under former mayor John Banks & deputy mayor David Hay.
Cllr Hucker said that sale decision was simply a change of ownership which didn’t change the net housing stock in the city. Under the change in council direction, the council might look at joint ventures, and also at relating affordable housing to the location of jobs. This happens in other cities around the world where transport & rental costs have become such big issues that they seriously affect the ability of businesses such as hotels & casinos to attract low-level staff.
The eastern corridor was another prime target for scepticism â€“ Cllr Hucker declared the motorway component of that corridor would be canned, thus raising the prospect of ever-increasing congestion without adequate resolution. Enter measures such as an increase in public transport, bus lanes along eastern suburbs arterials and urban design.
Policy & operation separated
Cllr Hucker said the structure separated day-to-day operations from the policy, planning & partnership function. “This allows us to keep a strategic focus while ensuring the city operates smoothly.”
Outlined below are key policy & implementation features of significance in property & business terms. They’re listed by committee, and have been set down in order of community aspirations, the council goal, council objectives and, in a few cases, areas of responsibility.
Arts, culture & recreation
Community aspirations: Valuing diversity, fostering creativity and enhancing leisure activities
Council goal: Develop a sophisticated international city culture also involving community participation in arts & recreation.
CBD developed as the entertainment/culture centre for New Zealand, including a quarter plan for the Aotea Quarter (under way) with enhanced opportunities for creating a critical mass of culture & entertainment; Auckland city arena; AK05; The Edge.
Under the objective of retaining & expanding open space, a review is proposed of the use by “noisy sports” such as speedway, go-karts & model planes of council parks, with the suggestion they might be better suited to less developed areas of the region.
Community development & equity
Community aspirations: Empowering citizens to become involved in building vibrant, inclusive communities with enhanced community wellbeing
Council goal: Strong, healthy inclusive communities.
Encourage a sense of citizen involvement through strong & inclusive bottom-up community development, including strengthening community groups and convening a refugee & new migrant forum
Work with providers to ensure low-cost rental housing for elderly people and families on low incomes, and decrease homelessness, including increasing the stock of affordable housing by working with the Government, Housing NZ Corp & appropriate community-based groups; and convening a housing forum
Implement projects that address social & economic inequalities in the community
Encourage all Aucklanders to engage in the democratic process, including a greater role for youth councilors, working on how positive change in the community can be achieved.
Economic development & sustainable business
Community aspirations: Economic development & prosperity
Council goal: Promote economic development & prosperity and enhance Auckland as an internationally competitive city.
Foster business growth, economic development & employment opportunities by supporting key sectors of creative industries, hi-tech & knowledge-intensive industries, tourism, specialised manufacturing (for example, marine), food & beverage industries, and business & financial services
Encourage business attraction, retention & expansion through business-friendly council services, business support services & programmes and networks
Encourage sustainable business practices
Encourage the creation of business development areas & business development communities in industrial & commercial areas (more on this a few points down)
Encourage & facilitate inward investment to support & grow strategic sectors & areas, provide high-quality jobs, build on & support existing businesses & supply chains and build Auckland’s export capacity
Provide support & economic advice for major events
Provide quality economic advice to the council, businesses & other stakeholders
Support the ARED strategy (regional economic development)
Manage the Mainstreet programmes, and a few other objectives.
On creating business development areas & communities, 6 areas were named:
The cbd (complete the retail strategy, business promotion strategy, consider developing a smaller business core that promotes an image of the cbd as suitable location for attracting corporate offices & knowledge-intensive businesses)
Newmarket (retain Newmarket as a regional centre)
Tamaki (develop a business precinct as a new centre for research, new technologies & tertiary education)
Rosebank Rd (promote & market as a specialised business development area), and
Penrose & Sylvia Park.
Environment, heritage & urban form
Community aspirations: Unique & sustainable built, natural & cultural environment
Council goal: To create a sustainable & vibrant urban form which retains natural & cultural heritage, where people want to live, work & invest
Review & further develop district plan policy
Review urban, landscape, heritage & transit linkages for policy development including the central area, traditional suburbs & their shopping centres, liveable communities, the residential 8 zone, and all other relevant areas & precincts
Work towards public ownership of access to all coastlines, including an acquisition programme for land purchase for Manukau, Waitemata & Tamaki River coasts
Retain volcanic cones as character open space and preserve key view shafts to & from them
Implement urban design & heritage principles, including making the Urban Design Panel more effective and using quality urban design principles on all council construction projects
Work with the regional council to improve air quality, and
Develop & review environmental policy.
This committee will have responsibility for:
district plan policy
various urban design matters
heritage protection, protection policies & mechanisms and a heritage fund
special character zoning & character overlays (introduced by the last council)
precinct & quarter planning
coastal management strategies, and a few other matters.
Among the Partnerships committee’s areas of responsibility will be the Committee for Auckland and education providers, including Study Auckland.. Iwi relationships will be dealt with by the full council.
Public safety & community order
This committee’s roles, wider than the previous law & order committee’s, take in management of the impacts of liquor, prostitution & gambling on the city’s social well-being, and also the promotion of quality design of buildings & projects to achieve crime prevention & public safety.
Transport & urban linkages
Community aspirations: Planned, integrated & quality transport system
Council goal: To provide for the sustainable & efficient movement of people, goods & services in a modern, planned & integrated system in a manner that provides for Auckland’s growth needs.
Build strong working relationships with key transport governance, planning & funding agencies
Remove the highway component from the eastern transport corridor from Glen Innes to the city and explore alternative solutions, but develop the corridor’s passenger transport components and investigate local roading improvements for the business, university & residential developments in Tamaki that better connect the area to State Highway 1 and to railway stations
Develop (with key transport agencies) an integrated modern rapid transit system, including promoting development of the 3rd rail line from Manukau to the cbd, the Avondale-Southdown rail link & the Albert St tunnel, and extending & improving bus transport
On roads, give priority to completing “sustainable, essential & strategic roading links” â€“ completing Spaghetti Junction, the State Highway 20 bypass, a better design for the Harbour Bridge to City motorway section, developing corridor management plans & traffic flow techniques, and developing & implementing parking policy that supports decongestion of the city
Giving priority to traffic demand management techniques, including a strategy for trucks
Giving priority to regional transport projects such as rapid transit & local solutions to facilitate integration in growth areas such as Panmure, Glen Innes & Avondale
Urban strategy & governance
Community aspirations: Sustainable & managed urban growth & change, and its links with transport & economic & community development
Council goal: Managing change from a suburban to a quality urban way of life, integrated & intelligent planning that ensures good urban design, a sense of place, physical safety, environmental sensitivity and land use that reduces traffic congestion & limits urban sprawl.
Ensure strategic overview & integration across the council’s major policy directions
Advance Auckland as an exciting, vibrant international Pacific Rim city of the 21st century
Promote a sustainable city that integrates & fosters the core community wellbeings
Recognise, celebrate & harness diversity
Foster the broad multicultural nature of the city and improve race relations
Set the high-level direction for the growth of the city, integrating land use, community development, economic development & transport
Plan for the city’s form and improve the quality of its built environment, through urban design excellence
Promote the central area as the vibrant heart of the city & region
Complete a strategy for the downtown waterfront which opens it up to the public, provides a vibrant innovative high-quality mixed-use area and ensures guardianship of this unique place for future generations, and some other objectives.
Its responsibilities will include strategic policy, the Regional Growth Forum & strategies, liveable community strategies, downtown waterfront & central area strategies.
Planning & regulatory
Develop the district plan & bylaws to reflect community aspirations
Develop innovative solutions for resource management & planning issues
Administer the planning rules
Ensure broad public participation in the planning process.
Related story: Hucker reveals the new outlook
Council website: Auckland City Council